This book examines the critical writing and journalistic reportage on Jean-Auguste-Dominque Ingres, from the time of his renunciation of the Salon in 1834 until his large retrospective at the 1855 Universal Exposition, the crucial middle decades of his career. This massive body of writing demonstrates how Ingres shaped his career in the rapidly evolving art world of mid-nineteenth century Paris. Enjoying the benefits of his affiliation with the Academy, the artist also employed certain modes of presentation, most notably the single-artist exhibition and illustrated monograph, through which he distanced himself and his work from the embattled world of artistic officialdom. Pursuing both paths, he assumed the new modernist ideal of a self-generating creative genius. The fluctuation in Ingres's critical persona - between puffed-up academician and unassuming artiste-maudit - provides a new context through which the formal qualities of his work, which vacillate between academic banality and modernist bizarrerie, can be understood.